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What does stiffness of liver area during medical examination indicate?

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Posted on Wed, 13 May 2015
Question:
i had fatty liver (due to being overweight: bmi: 28.1) 3 years ago. no alcohol. at that time 3-4 times elevated enzymes and signs of fat on liver.
then i lost weight and my liver enzymes improved.
it is last one year my all liver enzymes are normal.
i did an ultrasound and an ultrasound with doppler 6ER months ago and they were normal.
however, today when i went to an osteopath for some leg pain, he by chance pressed on my liver area and told me a rigid liver. do i have cirrhosis?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ratnakar Kini (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Cirrhosis unlikely

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for posting your query.
I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you.

Since the ultrasound and Doppler scan done 6 months ago showed a normal liver, it is unlikely that you have cirrhosis now. Because cirrhosis does not develop in such a short time.

So you need not worry that you might be having cirrhosis.

Let me know if I can assist you further.
Regards,
Dr.R.K.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ratnakar Kini (9 minutes later)
thanks dear dr.
i wonder the followings:

1- why did the osteopath feel a stiff liver when he pressed liver area?

2- when he pressed the liver region i felt pain. but liver has no fiber to give pain.
i was bloated at that time (I have IBS). Could the pain be due to gas?

3-as far as i read from medical papers (I am researcher also), they say ultrasound is around 70-80 percent sensitive to exclude cirrhosis. hence, can i still rely on ultrasound results?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ratnakar Kini (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Answer given below

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for getting back to me with more questions.

1. I cannot comment on why the osteopathy felt a stiff liver. You need to ask him.

2. Pain in that area could occur due to liver issues, gallbladder issues, pancreas issues and stomach issues. As far as your query about pain fiber in liver is concerned, stretching of the liver capsule can cause a dull pain. Any inflammation or abscess in the liver can cause pain.

3. If it is cirrhosis, then the liver would be shrunken, surface would be nodular and signs of its complication which is called portal hypertension would be present. Portal hypertension would be having features like dilated portal vein and enlargement of spleen. Also the liver panel would would show altered albumin globulin ration. The platelet count would be low.
Since you have none of these ( taking ultrasound, platelet count and liver panel in to consideration), cirrhosis is unlikely.

If you still want to rule out cirrhosis you can get a fibroscan or a liver biopsy done.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
Regards,
Dr.R.K.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ratnakar Kini

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 2080 Questions

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What does stiffness of liver area during medical examination indicate?

Brief Answer: Cirrhosis unlikely Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for posting your query. I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you. Since the ultrasound and Doppler scan done 6 months ago showed a normal liver, it is unlikely that you have cirrhosis now. Because cirrhosis does not develop in such a short time. So you need not worry that you might be having cirrhosis. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr.R.K.